Writers have been debating the Mike Shea‘s handy cheat sheet for writers this week.
The “Writing Tips” PDF collects George Orwell‘s writing rules, Edward Tufte‘s presentation rules, Strunk and White’s principles of composition and Robert Heinlein‘s writing rules in a single page you can keep on your writing desk.
What do you think? Do these writing rules help or hinder writers? Shea has published some helpful tutorials on eBook publishing as well.
I think there are ways to improve your writing by following some simple guidelines. I know my writing has improved by remembering to replace passive verbs with active ones, eliminating unnecessary words, and avoiding qualifiers and adverbs. I think a good writer follows simple rules, but knows when to break them. Like a musician that plays intricate, complex pieces, but knows when insert a silent pause.
Another reader disagreed:
I am a big fan of ‘there are no rules’ I think ‘cheat sheets’ like this are generally bad for writers or cause people to believe if they follow these ‘rules’ it is good writing.
(Image via qisur)